Robert Doty

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Robert Lee "Bob" Doty, Jr.

(Professor emeritus of English literature at Campbellsville University, Kentucky)

Dr. Robert L. Doty.jpg

Born May 19, 1935
Garrard County, Kentucky

Long-term resident of Campbellsville, Taylor County, Kentucky

Died January 8, 2020 (aged 84)
Campbellsville, Kentucky
Political Party Democrat
Spouse Never married

Robert, Sr., and Eddie Broaddus Doty

Religion Southern Baptist clergyman

Robert Lee Doty, Jr., known as Bob Doty (May 19, 1935 – January 8, 2020),[1] was professor emeritus of English literature at the Southern Baptist-affiliated Campbellsville University, formerly Campbellsville College, located in Campbellsville in Taylor County in central Kentucky. He was also a nature enthusiast and a bird photographer. He participated in many evangelical and medical mission trips to various countries, and he was a significant contributor to a church in Bolivia.[1]


A native of the Appalachian Mountains country, Doty was born to Robert Doty, Sr., who died when young Doty was only six years of age, and the former Eddie Broaddus in Garrard County, Kentucky. He graduated in 1953 from Estill County High School in Irvine, Kentucky.[2] He received an Associate of Science degree from Henry Ford Community College in Dearborn, Michigan, and a Bachelor of Arts from the Baptist-affiliated Georgetown College in Scott County, Kentucky, of which he was later a member of the board trustees.


Doty was also a Southern Baptist clergyman, having received a bachelor of divinity from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. From the University of Kentucky at Lexington, he received a Master of Arts and his Ph.D. in Victorian studies.[3]

Doty participated in post-doctoral programs at the University of London in England and an archeological study program in Jerusalem, Israel. He retired in 2006 from Campbellsville University and remains professor emeritus at the institution. He was twice the director of a London Summer School for a consortium of thirty-nine universities and colleges.  Doty served on regional accreditation/reaffirmation teams for various colleges and universities. He was the chairman of those committees for five of his sixteen years of involvement. He has also been affiliated with the Kentucky Humanities Council, the Elderhostel educational society, and various historical associations. He was a member of the editorial board of The Campbellsville Review and the chaplain at Camp Roy C. Manchester for the Lincoln Heritage Council of the Boy Scouts, based in Benton in Marshall County in western Kentucky. Doty himself was an Eagle Scout in his youth. He was a member of the board of the Clay Hill Memorial Forest, a 305-acre educational and research woodland established in 1996 and managed by Campbellsville University to promote environmental education and research on eastern deciduous forests.[4] [5]

In March 2012, CU displayed a collection of Doty's bird photographs in the university arts gallery. Doty was first introduced to photography by his high school principal. His first camera was a used Ricoh twin lens reflex. He has recorded sixty thousand photographic images using slides, negatives and digital technology. "Photographing birds presents distinctive challenges because sometimes they won't stay still or tolerate humans in their space. Good photographs are the result of skill, patience, access and luck. ... There are few human endeavors that call forth such a range of effort like photography ... because it can be creative, technical, scientific, propagandistic, inspirational. Design, form, color, physics, chemistry, art, history, nature and imagination are all elements to be explored with photography," Doty said in a 2012 interview.[3]

Death and legacy

Doty died at the age of eighty-four in Campbellsville early in 2020 of a heart attack while in the lounge of the Alumni Building.[6] He was preceded in death by siblings Charles Doty, James Doty, and Margaret D. West. He was survived by a sister, Jewell D. Newton, who resides in Irvine, Kentucky,[1] where Doty is interred.

His former student and later colleague, Sarah Stafford Sims, said that she could not have earned her Ph.D. had Doty not encouraged her to pursue the terminal degree. "Every class I teach includes material I learned from him. So much of the best of what I know and do, I owe to him. Dr. Doty was an intellectual giant and irreplaceable mentor and friend. …[6]

His colleague Joan C. McKinney wrote on Doty's passing:

Those who knew Bob Doty, knew him as a man who could travel Europe on $1 a day, who ate six crackers with peanut butter for lunch each day, who was a photographer who shot mainly animals and buildings and few, if any, an avid fisherman who went on many rough camping trips to Canada, a swimmer, a minister, and a fudge maker.

He was an Eagle Scout who worked with Boy Scouts, a coffee connoisseur, an intelligent professor who could have taught at Harvard, a lover of books to the tune of four thousand in his crowded campus office, and a man with a heart for missions.[6]

Campbellsille University President Michael V. Carter described Doty as a fine academic and Christian statesman. He had great passion for Christian higher education and assisted hundreds of students in finding God's call on their lives. In retirement, he was often seen on campus working on an array of projects and topics."[6]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Dr. Robert Lee "Bob" Doty. Retrieved on January 14, 2020.
  2. Robert Doty. Retrieved on January 2, 2018.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Dr. Robert Doty bird photographs will be on display at CU. (March 14, 2012).
  4. Robert L. Doty. Retrieved on January 14, 2020.
  5. Clay Hill Memorial Forest. Campbellsville University. Retrieved on January 14, 2020.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Joan C. McKinney, "In memoriam, You Did Good Work: Dr. Robert "Bob" Doty dies at age 84," The Campbellsvillian: The Magazine for Alumni and Friends of Campbellsville University, Spring 2020, Vol. 17 No. 3., pp. 36-37.